What is ctcLink?
The 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state are nearing the end of a massive project to replace an aged collection of systems designed in the 1970s with a more modern, efficient solution.
Bates Technical College is part of the final deployment group, DG6, and will go live on Monday, May 9, 2022.
How does this affect us?
ctcLink will give students, faculty and staff anytime, anywhere access to modern, efficient way of conducting college business. This also represents an alignment with all of the other state two-year colleges with core business processes, making for streamlined, standardized practices across the system.
So that Student Services staff can dedicate their time to a successful ctcLink implementation, all Student Services offices will close on Fridays.
- Mobile-friendly tools to handle college business online, anywhere and anytime.
- Single ID and student records that follows students wherever they go with the state’s two-year college system.
- Register for classes; view financial aid offers and handle processes; pay tuition and fees; add, drop or swap classes; contact an advisor or instructor; view grades and track educational goals; apply for graduation
- Self-service tools to manage personal information and other college business
- Payroll processing, HR tools and services
- Financial tools and the ability to create automated approval workflow processes for purchasing, travel authorizations, expense reimbursements and more
- Tools to manage and share state and federal reports; payroll, purchasing and employee records; recruitment tools and benefits administration
- SBCTC ctcLink information and resources
More about ctcLink implementation:
The project is named ctcLink to signify the collaboration amongst peer institutions and the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.
Just like the old system, ctcLink separates college data into three main areas, called Pillars. Every area of the college is engaged to identify business processes that can be improved, aid in the preparation of data to move from our legacy systems to PeopleSoft, and prepare for an incredible change.
ctcLink System Overview:
- Campus Solutions (CS) Includes Student & Faculty self-service tools, Registrations, Financial Aid, Cashiering, student and course/program information, and it replaces SMS. The Pillar Lead is Bob Traufler, Registrar.
- Human Capital Management (HCM) Includes Employee self-service tools, HR & Payroll systems and it replaces PPMS, TLR, NeoGov & travel expense forms. The (Interim) Pillar Lead is Petrina Sims, Payroll Manager.
- Finance (FIN) Includes Accounting, purchasing grant management and other related tools. It replaces FMS, FMSQuery, and eRequestor. The Pillar Lead is Nick Lutes, Vice President of Finance and Administration and the ctcLink Executive Sponsor.
There will be external tools that will be able to talk or integrate fully within the new ctcLink system:
- Canvas LMS – eLearning tool
- HighPoint Mobile App – upcoming new student mobile app
- 25 Live – upcoming new room scheduling tool
- Megamations – Facilities work order tool
- Campus CE – Continuing Ed Registration tool
Our current administrative systems (SMS, FMS, and PPMS) are outdated. Washington State Community and Technical Colleges implemented the existing system in 1979. After over 40 years, these systems present a serious failure risk. The database and reporting tools in use are no longer supported. Considerable effort is needed to keep this antiquated system operational and this effort continues to grow and become more expensive every day. There is no ability to improve or upgrade this system.
The ctcLink project is a giant leap forward for the entire community and technical colleges (CTC) organization. While there are many benefits both large and small, here are a few highlights for faculty, staff, and students:
- ID Numbers – Students and staff will have a single, electronic record with one ID number, available to all 34 colleges.
- Admissions Application – Future students will have one admission application process regardless of where or when they decide to attend.
- Financial Aid Process – New and returning students will have a single financial aid application process.
- Student Monitoring Tools – Students will be able to monitor their ‘time to degree’ and advisors can audit the process.
- Course Catalog – Students will have access to a centralized catalog of courses.
- Single Electronic Record – Faculty and staff will have a single electronic record with one ID number.
- Mobility – Access to information from any device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) anytime or anywhere.
- Modern Online Tools – Designed with an intuitive and customizable user experience across the entire platform.
- Standardization – Common processes to provide an efficient and effective experience.
Financial Aid System (FAS/FAM): The Financial Aid System that currently administers and manages financial aid services. This will transition to PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (CS).
Financial Management System (FMS): The Financial Management System that currently administers and manages financial and accounting services. This will transition to PeopleSoft Financial Management (FIN).
Payroll/Personnel Management System (PPMS): The Payroll/Personnel Management System that currently manages the human resources and payroll processing services. This will transition to PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM).
Student Management System (SMS): The Student Management System that currently administers and manages all student and curriculum related business functions. This will also transition to PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (CS).
Some 3rd party software or homegrown applications that use the data from these back-end systems will also be replaced in the process. These include, but are not limited to, Degree Audit, Instructor Briefcase, FMS Query, eRequestor, NeoGov, and TLR (time and leave reporting).
The reporting tools (DataExpress/By Request) will be replaced by PeopleSoft reporting tools. Each college will identify and train a core group of subject matter experts (SMEs) to work with the SBCTC and other colleges to develop the required reports. Staff and faculty will have access to run reports as required by their assigned duties. Such reports will be developed using PeopleSoft Query (PS Query) language. Check the Data reporting training page.
Because the ctcLink implementation will only convert a small window of data, access to the legacy data will be provided. Details of how this will work are not available at this time.
The ctcLink implementation plan is to convert all enrollment data for any active student within a six-year (prior to May 2022) period. Personnel and payroll data will only be converted for the previous two years.
The legacy system will be put into read-only mode and will be available through the legacy software for a time that is yet to be determined. While staff will have access to the data after Go Live, they will be unable to alter it in any way. When all colleges have been migrated (targeted for summer 2022) and the new system is stabilized, the legacy system will be sun-setted. The legacy data will be available, however, through as yet to be determined methods for reporting purposes.
It depends on your role at the college – if you use the current Legacy system (such as FMS, SMS, PPMS or FAM), you will learn an entirely new system and process for inputting and accessing information online. Even those who don’t use the current legacy system on a daily basis will see changes too, such as the addition of online workflows for certain tasks and, for everyone, the added benefit of new, online tools to access and manage personal records. Every employee will use the new ctcLink as everyone will need to login to fill out timesheets, update contact information or set direct deposits. Every student will also use the new system to enroll in courses, review grades, update contact information, and other student-related tasks.
We have embarked in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase. This will allow our core project and frontlines personnel to have a first glance at the new system using our own data. They will proceed to test the numerous primary processes, such as registering students, assigning faculty, add new employees, transfer funding, make a purchase, enter timesheets, run payroll and budget processes, and the like. The results of this testing will provide us with great insight as whether or not our ctcLink college configuration is correct. There will be one more UAT phase prior to deployment which will allow for a final tuning.
Project Sponsorship is now in the hands of Nick Lutes, VP of Finance & Administration. This fall quarter the project team under the leadership of Beth Cummings and with the technical assistance of our consultant, Bill Storms will be heading into User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This is the first time our project team will have the opportunity to see the new ctcLink software as it has been configured to meet the needs of Bates Tech. This UAT phase will also provide us a first glance at how our college data migrated to the new tool. This will be a time to identify issues with data migration, changes in processes, and an opportunity to fine tune application permissions.